Mrs. Steffen's GATE Classes
A new year - what will it bring?
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday spent with family and friends, making new memories. As we begin a new year together, I am incredibly excited at the thought of the progress my students have yet to show. I just know that the rest of this school year will be amazing.
Dates to Remember:
January 5 - PTA meeting
January 12 - College Day - wear your favorite college apparel
January 15 - early dismissal (1/2 day)
January 18 - President's Day - no school
January 19 - No School - report card preparation
January 29 - Geography Bee, 8:15 am
GATE Goings On
January will bring rigorous math problem-solving tasks to all of my classes!
In December, it just so happened that most of my classes were working on reading tasks that in many cases integrated Social Studies or Science. This month, I have decided it is time to do some fun, thought-provoking math!
First graders will be extending their mastery of two and three-dimensional figures by participating in several rigorous math tasks that ask them to create composite shapes comprised of these figures. They will be making noticing statements and asking questions of themselves as they reinforce their knowledge and work through these rigorous tasks.
Students in grade 2 will end the second marking period working through several money related tasks. They will participate in open-ended "money chats" that ask them to make connections between what they see and what they know about coin values, using money vocabulary. Students will also work through money riddles that ask them to rely on their knowledge of money values and the clues given to identify the answer. Finally, they will be responsible for creating their own money riddles.
Third graders will work on further expanding their knowledge of both area and perimeter. They will participate in a 3 Act Math task that asks them to find the area of a rectilinear figure. They will be tasked with the challenge of "carpeting" a room in a house with only certain dimensions given on the house blueprint. Students will work in teams to decide what information they know, what information they still need, and what tools are needed to solve the task.
Students in Grade 4 will finish their study of the brain and then move onto exploring area on a grander scale. They will watch a video of irregular-shaped table's space being measured with non-standard units. Their task - to figure out the total area of the table by posing questions, asking for information, and finding various ways to compute the area. The culminating activity will be for them to create their own math task to challenge their classmates.
Fifth graders will begin their math/science unit on Newton's Laws of Motion. They will learn all about the laws and then apply them by creating a domino run that must demonstrate each of the laws in some way. Their challenge will be made more "challenging" by given criteria that must be present in each domino run. This project-based activity will prove incredibly fun for them, while asking them to apply what they have learned.